Elections in Muscat
"Monday's announcement about holding Municipal Council elections is seen by analysts as a step forward in the path of democracy in Oman but sceptics questioned the urgency behind the move.
"Sayyid Hamoud Bin Faisal Al Busaidi, Minister of Interior, announced the opening of the nominations for the councils but no time frame for holding the elections has been announced. The nomination process will start from May 19 and close on May 30.
"'It is unprecedented and good news,' Omani tweep, Raid Zuhair Al Jamali, told Gulf News.
"However, he questioned the manner in which the announcement was made through Oman News Agency (ONA) on Sunday. 'Why this sudden decision to hold Municipal council elections and why this short notice of about 15 days and even shorter period of 12 days to file nominations,' wondered Ali Jamali, a respected name among the Omani Netizens."Oman has held elections for the national "shura" several times, and when I was in Oman in 2007, people were commenting on how each campaign was livelier than the last, with the elections that year dominating public discussion.